New partnership with academic institutions launched at UN

08:27, November 19, 2010      

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon kicked off a new initiative here Thursday, the UN Academic Impact (UNAI), which partners institutions of higher education with the UN in order to generate innovative ideas for peace and development.

"All of your countries already contribute to the United Nation' s work by donating peacekeepers, supporting development and providing the political backing we need to succeed," said Ban, addressing more than 300 representatives from academic institutions gathered at the launch of UNAI. "In addition to resources, in addition to personnel, we need ideas. Ideas bring the United Nations to life."

Institutions that join UNAI pledge to ascribe to 10 principles valued deeply by the UN, and must demonstrate that they are doing one project or activity every year to further these principles. To date, UNAI has 500 members in 90 countries.

"By joining the United Nations Academic Impact, you pledge to make these connections," Ban said. "And by doing that, you get more than the immense personal satisfaction of teaching, learning, and individual research. You get the even greater pride of seeing your scholarship help people cope with their day-to-day struggles. "

Ban said that all kinds of academic specialties, not just law and diplomacy, will be helpful in achieving the UN's goals. Therefore, support from all academic areas is necessary.

"Today, more and more people realize that our work touches virtually all other academic fields," he said. "Architecture and engineering for sustainable development, the humanities for tolerance and intercultural understanding, medical science for public health."

Thursday's launch marked the beginning of a two-day conference, which will give UN officials and academic representatives time and space to discuss how to utilize and strengthen their new partnerships.

Source: Xinhua


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